And So We Begin

Hello there, friends!

It seems like life has a way of slamming me with a lot of work and busy weeks that end up inevitably sliding out of my hands. There are many times I contemplated writing a blog post but got caught up in my other activities, or I was simply too tired and lazy to bother with a post. I accredit my procrastinating tendencies to my birth itself, as even then I was born three days late, so obviously it must be something in my biology.

All joking aside, things have been going rather well during my hiatus. Or, as well as I can get them to go along. Trying to juggle a writing career that’s still working to take off along with school, a part-time job, and a bucket load of extracurricular activities is a particular form of perdition I try to get through as best I can. Some things suffer when I try to balance it all, a lot of stress and unnecessary fear is generated from it, but I think that in the next couple weeks things will settle a little more. Until then, I’m riding the waves wherever they take me.

Up to this point, that’s been to a lot of good things.

Last week Volume Two of Budding  Bards, the anthology I’ve been collected in, was released on Amazon. I got my copy and I have to say, there’s not really a feeling like seeing your name on an actual book. Another fun thing that comes out of being officially published now is the fact that I could finally create my own author’s page on Amazon, which isn’t something a lot of people my age can say. It makes it that much better to know that it was made to honor a piece of work I am rather proud to have my name attached to.

Numerous people have congratulated me about the anthology release and have even told me that they’re going to try to make it to the signings. But I think my favorite reaction about the anthology was one I didn’t actually witness first hand. One of my friends came up and told me that they were talking about the anthology release to her mother. “She wasn’t all that impressed,” my friend said. “She just kind of sighed and said that it wasn’t a big deal because anyone could be published.”

This is my favorite reaction because it’s absolutely true. Over the past several years we have seen the barriers in publication crumbling. Self-publication services like Createspace or Smashwords have been used by thousands and thousands of people in order to get their books on to the market. Websites like Wattpad make it even easier to get your words out there and to receive feedback from anyone across the world.

With all these services and opportunities to be heard now available to the public nowadays, literally anyone can write. Anyone can come up with a halfway decent story idea and spend months on end fantasizing about it. Anyone can Google “how to write a book” and read countless blog posts about what it takes to write the Next Great American Novel. Anyone can buy expensive notebooks and pens or download a writing program onto their computer and stare broodingly out of a coffee shop window. Anyone can self-publish a book. Anyone can wave their banner across the world of the internet and tell everyone, I AM THE REAL DEAL! BUY MY BOOK! WRITE A REVIEW ON AMAZON!

Which is why it isn’t enough for me to say that I am now officially published. That’s why my friend’s mom may not hold my achievements in as high of a regard as other people might. Anyone can do what I have done.

There are many teens my age all around the world who label themselves as aspiring writers; there are many more adults who do the same thing. I don’t believe I am an aspiring writer. I also don’t believe that there is such thing as an aspiring writer. You don’t “aspire” to write; either you do it or you don’t.

What sets me apart from other people with pens and big ideas is the fact that I actually do the thing that I tell others that I do. I write. Now, am I committed enough to have a set schedule as to when I practice my craft? No. Do I hit a certain amount of words every day, rain or shine? Unless it’s NaNoWriMo, not really. And in these scenarios, that is what keeps me from being the Real Deal. But I’m working to reach that point, which is more than my aspiring counterparts might be able to say.

I believe that this anthology is a nice first step for me as I work to get my novel, Haywood Micaye, ready for publication. It’s a little reminder that I can work hard enough and do the things I’m passionate about in life. It’s a reminder of what I have on the life here, the line between actually doing the things I say I’m going to do versus aspiring to do them.

So, a promise.

From this moment on, I’m going to make a conscious effort to actually do all the things I say I’ll do. And I’ll do them with all the style and passion and creativity that I can muster, because I owe it to myself to do more great things.

In a world where anyone can write, I am proud to say I am not just anyone. I  a writer.

 And I think it’s time to start acting like one. And if it took several weeks of stress and a published short story to remind me this, so be it.

Until next time,

Ashlynne

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